Ask any entrepreneur what their main goal is and you can be sure that increasing income is at the top of the list. Let’s face it. There will always be bills to pay, saving accounts to pad, vacations to plan – you name it – and just about all of it requires money.
So what’s a busy entrepreneur to do? You do what most small business owners do. You work harder. You raise your fees, repackage your services, work more hours to bring on more clients – and find yourself overwhelmed and still underpaid.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. There is a much simpler way to increase your income. It has far less to do with working harder and everything to do with being smarter about how you spend your time.
Remember that old saying, “Time is money?” Well, it’s true. It is imperative for you to practice spending that limited amount of time you have each day in performing the best activities that will give you the results you desire – in the shortest amount of time – and with the least amount of effort.
Here are just a few ways you can use your time more effectively, so that you can increase your income faster and with less stress:
- Spend the FIRST HOUR of your day focused on a specific marketing activity that will grow your business. Don’t hop on your computer to check out your News Feed on Facebook or wander through the emails that came in overnight. Look at your marketing plan and select a specific activity that you will tackle first thing in the morning to attract more clients and increase your income – and stay focused.
- Set up systems – If you do something once for marketing, it’s likely you’ll have to do it again. Stop storing URLs, passwords and instructions in your head! When you clutter your mind with that many details you are actually making your marketing much more challenging than it needs to be. Yes, it takes time to set up systems, but how much time do you waste trying to remember details or fix mistakes? Time spent on setting up systems is time spent once, while mistakes and searching for lost information costs you money and creates stress. Once your systems are set up, you’ll work more efficiently and be able to delegate tasks and free up your time to focus on more profit generating activities.
- Stop trying to do so much. It’s likely you can fill your practice with ideal clients by consistently pursuing a few (like 2 – 3) marketing strategies. Narrow your focus on the strategies that will help you meet your S.M.A.R.T. goals and eliminate everything else for a specific period of time. You’ll find yourself less stressed – which overall will allow you to use your time better and create more profitable results in your business.
- Eliminate time wasters. I never cease to be amazed by the folks who tell me they don’t have enough clients, but when I ask them what they are doing to get clients they say, “Not that much.” That always leaves me wondering what in the world they are doing with their time! If you find that you’re easily distracted during the day, you’ve got to get serious about being focused. Whatever your time sucking vice happens to be (social media, children, spouse, pets, “must see T.V., running errands, etc.), commit to stop wasting time and use that time to complete specific projects that will help you attract more clients and increase your income.
Here’s what I suggest you to do this week. Sit down and take a good look at your goals. Evaluate the way you use your time. Do your activities support your goals? How can you make time work in your favor instead of against you?
Decide what you want most and then find the path that will get you there in the shortest amount of time and with the least amount of effort. Not only will you increase your income, but you will have more energy and the sanity to appreciate it.
Your Action Plan For This Week:
|1.||Narrow your focus – Make a list of your biggest time wasters. Choose one for now and eliminate it. Stop doing it.|
|2.||Make a list of your marketing strategies. What’s working well? What is not working for you? Choose one strategy that works well and use it to replace that time waster you just eliminated.|
|3.||Set up your marketing system(s) which will ultimately save you time and money.|
|4.||Dedicate the first hour of each morning to this task until it is complete. Then move on to another important task.|
|5.||At the end of the week, evaluate your progress. Make a list of what worked and what you still need to work on. Plan specific activities for the upcoming weeks. Celebrate your success!|
Kelli Wilson says
Well you called me out! I start my routine each day in email, log into my electronic to do list and then scan facebook. I will take on the challenge to add a period of time for specific marketing activities. I do them I just don’t do them with the kind of intention and attention you just described. Clients are coming in but I want more, higher paying clients – time to really work the plan.
Sydni Craig-Hart says
Thanks for the note Kelli! I’m really glad the message resonated with you. Sometimes we don’t even realize the habits we’ve developed that aren’t serving us. I’m always telling my clients “you’ve got to plan your work and work your plan”. Glad to see you subscribe to the same philosophy! 🙂
Amy Kinnaird says
You’ve been reading my mind! The last two weeks I have fallen back into some bad habits, but am going to do #1 on your list and STOP it now! I love my business travel, but it knocks me off of my normal routine which I need to get right back to…and apparently didn’t this time.
We all have the same 24 hours and successful people are laser focused and get the job done FIRST. Well, maybe after their normal morning routine, which is extremely important, too.
Sydni Craig-Hart says
Your honesty is always so refreshing Amy! It’s easy for any of us to fall back into bad habits. I fight mine all the time. What’s important is that we own our issues and don’t given into them. I’m glad to see you are stepping up your game and getting back on track. I hope this is a great week for you! 🙂
Michele Jennae says
Great tips Sydni. Normally “turn your spare time into more income” is a multi-level marketing schpiel!
I love how you turned that into a very helpful post about what areas to concentrate our time in to make it last in our businesses.
Sydni Craig-Hart says
Ha! How about that Michele! I hadn’t even considered that “MLM aspect. 🙂 Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate your comment! 🙂
Sherri Garrity says
Sydni these are great tips and we speak the same language. Most clients and colleagues who are under-earning to where they would like to be, often are too scattered. A few strategies done consistently will bring in the results. One other suggestion – or challenge – is to look at where most of your income is coming from, and how much time your clients are taking from you. Often this reveals that your time is being spent serving the lowest paying clients (or that your highest paying clients are actually taking so much time, that you’re not as profitable as you think you are). Upleveling your clients, selling more to existing clients and getting your systems down all have to work together.
Sydni Craig-Hart says
You know what I LOVE about your comments Sherri? That you always add something to the conversation. Thank you for that! 🙂 You are absolutely right about paying attention to where your money is coming from. Sometimes we have an idea in our mind as to what’s working in our business. But the numbers don’t lie! It’s critically important to track your revenue against your marketing efforts to see what’s working and what’s not. Thanks so much for your input!